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The Aftermath: We were all correct

by David Haber

Sometime a week before Book 7 came out, someone commented that Harry would die, but then come back. I think most everyone on the site thought it was a silly idea. But I told several people at that time that I thought that just might be the perfect solution, although I couldn't figure out how J.K. could make it work. J.K. did, of course! So, the half of the Harry Potter fans in the world who thought Harry would die were right! And the other half who thought he would live were also right!

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Reader Comments: (Page 86)

Your points are well taken but I happen to disagree with both your assumptions from your comment of Sept 29, that the power of the Elder wand would if the wand is undefeated, and that Harry understood all of Dumbledore's plan.

Harry often was left in the dark, as Snape was about the role of the wand, so it is possible his interpretation was "flawed". Dumbledore, as usual, let Harry work things out for himself in King's Cross, without a lot of help.

As to the power of the Elder Wand, I don't think that much power would just give up. According to Ollivander, the wand chooses the wizard. If the owner of the wand s a natural , never having been defeated as the original brother d, then maybe the wand's power would dissipate before it was found, but in the situation on the tower with a sudden at the hand of another wizard, I think the wand would naturally transfer it's ownership to the wizard who won. This would have been Snape's protection.
Your points about Snape's right to know are very convincing, but I think Dumbledore's mistake was thinking that Voldemort would use a wand against Snape, giving Snape the advantage.

I think the question might be how far did Dumbledore's trust of Snape really go? Snape was aware of the cloak. He helped Dumbledore after the ring ened his hand, and maybe would have figured out about the stone once he knew of the significance of the wand. Could Dumbledore take the chance that Snape could walk away from the power of all three? Dumbledore could not even trust himself that much.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on October 4, 2007 06:24 AM

I wish J.K. Rowling would comment on the relations and implications between Dumbledore, Snape and the Elder Wand: Shouldn't Dumbledore have foreseen that Voldemort would pursuit the owner of the wand? He intended Snape to end up with the wand - but what exactly was the reasoning behind this? Did he want Snape to have a powerful weapon to finish off Voldemort in the end, once Harry had surrendered himself? Did Snape know about the Elder Wand and its powers and the interest Voldemort would take in it?

I have the feeling that Dumbledore let Snape walk sraight into mortal danger and therefore abused Snape's deep feelings of guilt, shame and remorse. Dumbledore shows, in my opinion, very little concern about Snape's fate. When Harry says: "Well, this part didn't work out." he merely replies:"No, this part didn't work out. Poor Severus..." What a poor summary, in my opinion, of the risks Severus Snape took as a spy for Dumbledore, risking his life and losing it. I would have hoped for more words from Dumbledore in respect of what Snape did and the reason for it.

Dumbledore asked a hell of a lot from Snape; above all the task to him! I felt really repulsed when I read that, to request someone to you - for whatever reasoning - is a horrendous thing to do. The fact that Harry and Dumbledore don't speak about Snape in their final meeting at King's Cross Station also shows a lack of gratitude and respect.

Also if Snape hadn't been ed and if Harry hadn't been there to collect his memory, who would have believed him that he ed Dumbledore on request only, not because he wanted to?

Dumbledore should have at least confided in another person about this plan or should have stated the real reason behind the ing in writing or sth. similar.
Dumbledore cared about the people he was with, so I can't really understand this lack of care about Snape.

Posted by Siena from Leeds, UK on October 4, 2007 07:28 AM

I agree with you, Go Snape Go. Neither of them could really start to live until the other was . Even if Harry had moved abroad and tried to live a normal life, he would always have been worried and afraid, because he would have known Voldemort was after him. And Voldemort wouldn't have been able to rest before his enemy was ed.

Posted by Sara from Finland on October 4, 2007 10:57 AM

I would say that if the owner/master of the wand d of natural , the power would be given to anyone who would find the wand. In Dumbledore's situation, it wasn't so: he wasn't the master of the wand anymore.

Another thought: maybe you can't possess all three Hallows; if you gather them, you're in fact possessed by them and become evil, just like with Frodon ring. That would explain why Dumbledore is so eager to give back the cloak to Harry as soon as he can: he has the wand, he needs to get the ring because it is a Horcrux, he can't have the cloak. Then, Harry makes a very sensible choice in getting rid of the Hallows.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on October 5, 2007 10:21 AM

I think that dobby shouldn't've d. Nor should have Hedwig. Even though JKR did state that the reason for loosing hedwig was to symbolize harry growing up or something like that, Dobby had NO reason he should've d. Dobby had saved harry's life a bajillion times, so how come he couldn't live?

I'd like to say R.I.P to: Fred weasley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Dobby the house elf, Hedwig, And all other kind hearted people who d in this book.

Posted by Dakota from California on October 7, 2007 7:37 PM

It's easy to have a plan for people until you get to know them personally. I think Dumbledore set his plan in motion (for the greater good) when he heard the prophecy and when Voldemort first acted to mark Harry. He could easily plan for Snape at the beginning (use him as a spy and perhaps sacrifice him should it become necessary)...Snape was pretty loathsome...he was prepared for Harry and James to to save Lily...morally and ethically very questionable....but I think their relationship changed over time...Snape changed...he became ing to sacrifice himself for protect Harry because of Lily (admittedly Dumbledore didn't give him all the information..ethically questionable of Dumbledore)...a bit like acting with informed consent. He agreed to Dumbledore at his request...again acting with informed consent and an element of free .

I think Dumbledore could also plan for Harry easily in the beginning...he left him with the Dursleys which he knew would be unpleasant...he set him up for his role in ridding the world of Voldemort...all part of the master plan for the greater good...but as he grew to love Harry the plan became personal...hence the difficult chapter in OotP about the lost prophecy. It's much more difficult to plan for people you slot them into a master plan only you know about..infact you can't...the plan had to change to accommodate the changing relationships. So in the end, Dumbledore comes to know Harry well and to anticipate his actions and the kind of person Harry is so he sets it up for Harry to complete the plan of his own free . There's always the chance that he won't, i.e. that he exercise the choice not to complete the plan....but that's what you have to do with people you love truely...give them the choice.

It's not as simple as Dumbledore being ing to sacrifice Snape and Harry for the greater good. There's always that complication/tension of the relationship between the general and the specific...between the greater good and the individuals concerned.

Posted by Joe from England on October 9, 2007 1:55 PM

Joe, when you mentioned Harry's upbringing with the Dursley's, it reminded me of the rumors of Ariana's mistreatment at the hand of Dumbledore. I don't think he knew what the Dursley's were like until after Harry lived there.

I agree with most of your comment, I think Dumbledore had to adjust his plan over time. He had to raise Harry to face Voldemort in the end, but I don't think Snape became part of the endgame until book 6 when Dumbledore faced his own impending . Then he had to rethink the plan and come up with a substitute protector, Snape.

I really believe that Snape was to own the power of the wand without knowing so, and would be protected from Voldemort. Of course there is always a certain level of risk which must be assumed, and Dumbledore knew of the risk in which he was placing Snape, for the greater good. Who else was there to take Dumbledore's place, once Snape made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa? And how well could Snape protect his mind from Voldemort with the emotions of possible on his mind? Snape placed his life on the line everyday with his actions. I think Dumbledore conveniently extrapolated Snape's ingness to be Harry's protector, and formed the plan with the best chance of doing away with Voldemort. But it is a very slippery slope when you start to let the end justify the means.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on October 10, 2007 07:07 AM

Joe, you said: "But that's what you have to do with people you love truely...give them the choice" I think everybody should be given the choice, and told the truth, otherwise its simply ethically wrong, I just can't change my mind about that. It was a matter of life and . Not some minor matter. I can't change my mind about what Dumbledore did with Snape. It was a betrayal after sixteen years of loyalty from Snape.

Patty, you said "Dumbledore conveniently extrapolated Snape's ingness to be Harry's protector". I think he must have done something like that. He perhaps explained himself that Snape would be ing to do this anyway. He was very flawed here, but he didn't even seem to notice it himself (or didn't Rowling notice it?).

About the wand's power: I feel Rowling explained Dumbledore's plan about the wand's power through Harry during the final battle. Why otherwise would Harry have said those things? I can't understand.

I, personally, have taken this very hard. As if these were real persons, I admit. I also don't think that children of the world should be taught such ethics. You can't use people in such a way even for greater good.

Posted by Sara from Finland on October 11, 2007 03:32 AM

I think the reason why Dobby d was to leave Harry with less protection. I mean, Voldemort says, "Who you have for you this time?" at the final battle and Harry answers, "No one." Voldemort probably knew Harry was ing to give up his own life to him; he had proved that in the graveyard at little Hangleton and then again, literally, that very night. JKR probably wanted to show that more literally by ing off more of his protectors. Of course, there was always Ron and Hermione, but they knew he had to do this on his own.

I think Fred was the one who shouldn't have d. When there was sadness in the series, you could always count on Fred and George to make you laugh. But now it's just George, with no ear and no twin. If one of the Weasleys HAD to , it should have been Percy. He could have d right after they made up! The last day of his life would have been a lot happier than Fred's.

Posted by C.J. from Utah on October 11, 2007 8:24 PM

Did you know Albus Dumbledore is a Bible reader? Figure it out:

"For where your treasure is, there your heart be also."
(Luke12:34)-found on the tomb of Ariana Dumbledore (Godric's Hollow Chapter)

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is ."
(1 Corinthians 15:26)-tomb of the Potters.

Who else would have allowed these messages inscribed in their epitaphs?

I just loved the Christian messages Rowling inspired in her novels...

Posted by Josh from Cebu, Philippines on October 11, 2007 11:06 PM

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Dumbledore, or any of the Wizards, could be religious. J.K. Rowling has shown us the kids celebrating Christmas ever since the first book.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2007 07:37 AM

i loved the book. but i had a few questions -
1. who ed lupin and how? did dolhov? how did he?
2. who ed Tonks?
3. who ed colin Creevey?
4. who married draco malfoy?
5. how did voldemort fall when he attacked harry in the end? i am talking about the time when he asked narcissa malfoy to check if harry was .

Posted by rajat saigal from india on October 12, 2007 09:30 AM

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